Meet the Louisiana Startup Prize Finalists

The Louisiana Startup Prize competition incentivizes local, regional and national entrepreneurs. Organizers have announced the finalists for the third annual competition.

The Startup Prize’s goal is to evolve businesses through a series of educational events, what they call Qualifying Events, and then connect them with potential investors.

More than 100 entrepreneurs attended Qualifying Events earlier in the year. Sixty-three percent of the entrepreneurs were minority and/or female, making this year the most diverse.

This is the first year organizers selected six finalists, rather than the usual five.

  • Bansen Labs — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Technology connects people with disabilities with everyday technological devices.  for people with disabilities

  • Cast 21 — Urbana, Illinois

A lattice-structure cast that can be applied universally to conform to any amorphous shape, thus creating a form-fitting, breathable cast.

  • Feather — Memphis, Tennessee

Offers seniors and their families access to reliable, quality, and consistent care that meets their specific needs and schedule through a web and mobile app

  • Segue Therapeutics — Shreveport, Louisiana

Biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery and medical use of re-purposed drugs to treat pancreatic cancer.

  • Vega Coffee — New York, New York; Leon, Nicaragua

An online coffee company focused on aiding native coffee growers by connecting them directly with their customers.

  • Viper Drill — Lake Charles, Louisiana

A radial drilling system that improves oil and gas recoveries from existing wells creating a series of drainage tunnels that radiate out from the wellbore.

“Having an additional startup join the Top 5 is an incredible step forward for us,” said Louisiana Startup Prize founder Gregory Kallenberg. “It means that the quality of our entrepreneurs and their startups has never been higher. Also, having a woman-run startup in the mix shows that we are helping to grow a diverse and incredibly innovative event where everyone and their concepts are celebrated and rewarded.”

Each of the finalists is now competing for a grand prize valued at more than $70,000, which includes $25,000 cash. The prize package also includes marketing and accounting services, office space, and business financing.

Kallenberg and team, who are based in Shreveport, refer to the Louisiana Startup Prize as “The Most Amazing Entrepreneurial Competition on the Planet.”